If you get very sick or badly hurt and need help right away, you should use emergency medical services. These services use specially trained people and specially equipped facilities.
You may need care in the hospital emergency room (ER). Doctors and nurses there treat emergencies, such as heart attacks and injuries. For some emergencies, you need help where you are. Emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, do specific rescue jobs. They answer emergency calls and give basic medical care. Some EMTs are paramedics - they have training to do medical procedures on site. They usually take you to the ER for more care.
If you or someone you know needs emergency care, go to your hospital's emergency room. If you think the problem is life-threatening, call 911.
Statistics and Research
- Costs of Emergency Care (American College of Emergency Physicians)
- Emergency Department Visits by Persons Aged 65 and Over: United States, 2009-2010 (National Center for Health Statistics)
- Wait Time for Treatment in Hospital Emergency Departments: 2009 (National Center for Health Statistics)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Emergency Medical Services (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Children with Special Health Care Needs (American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians) - PDF
- Teaching Your Child How to Use 911 (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Warning Signs of Childhood Emergencies (American College of Emergency Physicians)
- What Happens in the Emergency Room? (Nemours Foundation)
- What You Need to Know in an Emergency (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- When It's Just You in an Emergency (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Top 10 Tips for Taking an Elderly Parent to the Emergency Department (American College of Emergency Physicians)